Revised Community Travel Support Guidelines
Today, the ICANN organization published revised Community Travel Support Guidelines. The ICANN org began the process of updating the guidelines last year. The goal of this process was to improve the guidelines for supported travelers, as the last revisions were made in 2013; provide clarity for supported travelers and community groups; and separate matters of funding from the guidelines. The revisions do not address specific requests for changing levels of support. This approach ensures discussions of resource allocation remain part of the budget planning process.
The guidelines reflect the initial input received from the community consultation conducted between September 2017 and January 2018, as well as the subsequent submissions received as part of the public comment proceeding conducted from May to July 2018. The ICANN org appreciates the contributions of the community to this process, and the guidelines build on community experiences and capture observations made by ICANN Travel Support.
Over the past few years, several community groups have experimented with increased levels of funding through the Additional Budget Request process. In a number of cases, increased travel support was later incorporated into the budget and operating plan. The ICANN org recognizes the significant value that the community's work provides in the furtherance of its mission. Likewise, the ICANN org recognizes that individual community group requests to increase travel support levels are important, requiring consideration as part of the budget planning process.
The long-term sustainability of travel support requires strategic consideration by the community. Demands are growing over time, driven by many factors. This includes increasing cross-community work, robust policy development and implementation, growth in working groups, and the expansion of reviews. Currently, ICANN supports more than 300 community members to attend each ICANN Public Meeting, and spends considerable resources on travel support for approved ICANN events.
The Global Stakeholder Engagement and Policy Development Support departments led the revision process and collaboration with the community. The Communications, Finance, Legal, and Travel Services departments offered guidance as well. Moving forward, ICANN welcomes feedback from the community on how well the guidelines are meeting its needs and expectations. The ICANN org commits to a regular review of the guidelines after a sufficient period of working with the revised guidelines.